Vicky Kaushal, one of the most sought after actor in Bollywood today, is bringing families together this festive season with his film The Great Indian Family. The actor has received both critical and box office approbation since he debuted with Masaan in 2015. His Sardar Udham, directed by Shoojit Sircar, won the National Film Award.
In this interview with indianexpress.com, Vicky opens up about his journey as an actor, “ticking all the boxes” by signing a YRF film, a studio he’d dream of working with from his struggling days, and why his generation of actors can’t afford rivalry.
When Vicky was offered The Great Indian Family and not Dhoom
Vicky Kaushal admits that when he got a call from YRF for a narration, he secretly wished it was for the Dhoom franchise. He says, “When I first got a call from YRF saying that it is a Vijay Krishna Acharya film and that they would like to narrate the script to me, I already had visuals of Dhoom and bike chases (in my mind). However, when I came to the office, he offered me a family film. Half an hour into the narration, I was wondering how come there is not even a single slap in the film. I was expecting cars, bikes and blasts. Then I was gradually fascinated by the story, Bhajan Kumar and all the colours of the great Indian family. By the time the narration was over, I was totally in. I was also coming out of some heavy films so I was craving for stories where I have to be light and lively, it is full of hassi-mazaak, and colours and vibrancy, so it was like all the boxes were getting ticked for me.”
Doing a YRF film was like his dream come true
Doing a film for Yash Raj Films is like a dream come true for Vicky, he explains why. “I was also always looking forward to an opportunity from YRF, that’s one box I always wanted to tick. Lately I have been doing some very serious films, hard films, which you do not necessarily want to watch with your family. Whereas The Great Indian Family is a film that comes with great relatability also. So, if a big family is watching it together, there will be one chachi (aunty) who will relate to a character, a bhaiya (brother) laughing at a scene because he relates to another character.”
When Vicky thought he’s not “protagonist material”
Kaushal has described himself as a “regular kid who was interested in studying, playing cricket and watching movies”. He confesses that the right things happened for him at the right time, and hence he’s never looking back at his struggling days in a bad light. Sharing how he’s emerged as an actor at a time when nobody, including him, thought he was “protagonist material”.
He says, “In everyone’s journey, be it an actor or a technician or anyone, right things always happen at the right time. It took me five years to get Masaan. At that time, there was no space for a film like Masaan, there was no space for an actor like Vicky Kaushal playing the protagonist. I think whatever has happened in my life till now, personal and professional, everything has happened at the right time and in the most beautiful way. So, I have utmost faith in the universe that it’ll figure out stuff for me.”
Vicky says his dream is coming true
Vicky says “it feels surreal” to see himself on the big screen, to be an actor in an industry where thousands of boys come with the same dream and most can’t make it.
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He shares, “In a city like Mumbai, everybody’s got huge dreams and big aspirations, and everybody is fighting for it and doing their best. Not everyone gets to say that ‘yes, my dream is coming true’. So when I get to say that today, I feel very grateful to God and all the good wishes and blessings that I feel I am surrounded with. These are the people who matter a lot. Everyone wants to do well, doing their best, but for me I feel it is not just my actions, but the love that I am surrounded with that has brought me where I am today.”
Vicky on rivalry in Bollywood
Vicky is one of the most sought after names among the young crop of actors. So when asked his take on his rivals, the actor says, “Nobody has rivals anymore, no one can afford rivalry anymore. The system has changed. Today, all of us in the industry are working towards building an ecosystem where films work and I don’t think that allows us to be able to afford rivalry. There is healthy competition, competition has become fierce but not in a way that you have to pull someone back to go ahead, that doesn’t happen anymore. After the difficult times we had during Covid-19, the audience is feeling good that every Friday a new film of a new genre is coming out. So, when things work for anyone, everyone is happy; if it is not working then nobody is happy,” he concludes.